This year I was sitting in the opening planning session for Edubloggercon when someone asked organizer Scott Floyd (@woscholar) why he used Tiny.cc to shorten the link to the Edubloggercon website. He explained briefly you could create an account on the site, save shortened links you create, gather data on how many times the links are hit, and go back and edit them if you need to. I was instantly interested.
I looked into Tiny.cc later in the day, and I was able to create an account and start using it within minutes. You don't have to create an account to shorten a link with Tiny.cc, but it's a more useful/powerful tool if you make an account.
Much like Tinyurl.com, which I used extensively in the past, I could ask the site to randomly create links or customize them. I like making custom links that make sense, and I was able to quickly make links to the presentations I had coming up later in the week: http://tiny.cc/orgcurate and http://tiny.cc/onlinesd.
While creating my first shortened URLs, I also discovered Tiny.cc automatically creates a QR code for each of your Tiny.cc URLs. That is so awesome! I downloaded the QR codes for the session links I made and posted them nice and big on the screen at the start of my presentations along with the Tiny.cc link. It helped everyone quickly access the resources at the start of each of the presentations I was involved in.
So, to sum it up, here is why I love Tiny.cc for creating shortened URLs:
- I can save my shortened URLs in my Tiny.cc account.
- I can make custom URLs.
- If the long link for a Tiny.cc shortened link ever changes, I can just log in and edit it. The Tiny.cc will redirect to the new link no matter where the Tiny.cc has been posted on the web.
- I can also edit the Tiny.cc shortened link if I want to.
- I can download an automatically created QR code for each of my Tiny.cc URL's, which is great for presentations and classroom use. I can log in to Tiny.cc and regrab those QR codes no matter how often I need them. (The QR code also updates if you ever change your long link or Tiny.cc link.)
- I can get statistics on how many times the resource behind the Tiny.cc URL has been accessed. That's especially nice if I've created a shortened link for presentation materials or I want to see how often students are using resources I've pointed them to. Pretty fascinating stuff!
I think Tiny.cc is a great tool for conference presenters and staff developers who want to get people to their resources as quickly as possible either through a nice, short link, or a QR code. If you are teaching in a 1:1 and/or BYOD environment, this could be an amazing way to streamline student access to your resources. Whether your students have to type a link into a laptop browser or they can scan a QR code with a tablet or phone, Tiny.cc has you covered both ways.
Give Tiny.cc a try and let me know what you think in the comments! Or, if you have another favorite link shortener, please share!